Getting out of the game

According to this story, 134 members of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (which really means the most extreme holdouts  from Algerian GSPC who don’t understand that the war is over) have turned in their weapons and embraced the national reconciliation process.  This came after Hassan Hattab, the group’s founder, issued a statement and set up a website calling for remaining fighters to turn themselves in.  The articles quotes local experts who said that Hattab’s appeal is causing an “violent earthquake” amongst the followers of Abdal Malek Drudekal, the leader of AQIM, causing many of them to want to embrace the reconciliation.

Update on Russian MiG donation to Lebanon

A few months ago, Rob and I discussed Russia donating  10 MiG-29 fighter jets to Lebanon (read here and here).  The cost of maintenance was back then considered a serious issue  for (and probably by) the Lebanese government.  As it turns out, so too it was for the Russian government.

Russia has apparently failed to invest enough roubles to make its military hardware operational.  A few weeks ago, AP and several newspapers, including Al Nahar and The Moscow Times, started publishing reports that the planes are too unsafe and unreliable for use, and a word of warning was sounded out to the Lebanese:

“Lebanon has been advised to “wait” before accepting MiGs after reports that at least a third of Russia’s fighter jets are unsafe and should be written off or repaired.”

Apparently, Russia had tried to pull a similar act of generosity towards Algeria recently.  That didn’t last very long, as Algeria returned 15 MiG 29’s back to Russia, citing “poor quality”.

She’s got my vote

Is there really any question about this?  If this contestant does not win American Idol, something is seriously wrong with the American people. I don’t even care if she wins, make a cd,  anything, I’ll buy.